NFL is America's most popular sport and at any chance they get, they will try to milk it. Forget the attention its garnered in the sports and judicial world about if there is a season or not. The NFL draft starts tonight. Last year, they moved the first round to Thursday night to get some prime-time ratings. This resulted in about a total of 8 million people watching (not all at once, ratings are too complicated to explain here). The NFL had an impressive debut for televising the 1st round of the draft on a Thursday night. However, they have much heavier competition this year. Check out tonight's schedule:
The Office - Steve Carell's last episode
Advanced coverage of William & Kate's wedding
Usually before the 1st pick is announced, the draft pick is negotiating his contract. This year, even I had a hard time believing the draft was coming up especially with all the lockout talk. It's going to be an interesting night given the diverse TV schedule. How many people know the draft is on? How many will watch? How many care if they fully believe there is no season next year? My prediction is that the NFL will prove it is the almighty force we make it out to be when the ratings come out. The downside of high ratings is it will further complicate the lockout in regards to everything from revenue to player signings. The players secretly have to hope the draft tanks so it somehow hurts the owners.